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Monday, July 10, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Just mull it over

“Sanctuary cities” protests continue… Protesters interrupted a Cedar Park Fourth of July parade last week to protest Senate Bill 4. No one was arrested, but they were removed so the parade could continue. They told KVUE they were calling for a boycott of HEB so the state could see the economic impact of immigrants. James Harrington of the Texas Civil Rights Project had a similar call to action in McAllen’s Monitor on Sunday. “The time has come for us, Texans, to promote an economic boycott of our state until the misnamed ‘anti-sanctuary’ law, Senate Bill 4 is repealed and state officials end their war on immigrants,” Harrington wrote. “We should begin a campaign to ask conventions, conferences and major sports events to take their business elsewhere.”

Help find Parsley… Last week, the city sent out another call for help in finding Parsley, the 1-year-old dog that escaped from a microchipping event. As we noted on Thursday, Parsley was last seen near the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8925 in Southeast Austin, running down FM 812. Even an unusual level of media attention for a missing dog case (the plight of Parsley was also featured in the Austin American-Statesman and on KVUE) hasn’t brought the dog home. Believing the pup to still be in the general area, the city has spent the last week searching without any luck. Now Animal Services officers are doubling down on their request for any help the community can provide. If you see Parsley, call 311 immediately, and follow the Austin Animal Center on Facebook for updates.

Define break… Over the weekend, Austin’s hardest-working mayor took a bit of his Saturday to give his colleagues something to mull over during the July break: displacement. In a post on the City Council Message Board, Mayor Steve Adler shared his preliminary ideas about how the city can “can address and communicate with our residents about displacement, significantly related to other manifestations like gentrification, in an intentional and comprehensive way.” Adler notes that he and Council members Delia Garza and Pio Renteria are cosponsoring a resolution to look into creating a task force to look at the issue and tools that might address it, and asks others to join in. He notes that while the city has attacked the issue on many fronts, the solutions fall prey to a familiar city problem. As Adler puts it: “While the goals and policies associated with addressing displacement are generally aligned, they exist in several different policy areas so it is difficult to measure progress in a meaningful way. In effect, some suggest we are skipping the step in which we could begin with a data-based approach and leapfrogging straight to proposing policy and enacting programs.” At any rate, stay tuned! New city task force coming soon!

This week’s Reporter’s Notebook comes from the notebooks of Nina Hernandez and Elizabeth Pagano.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Animal Services: This is the city department tasked with running the city's animal shelter, providing care to more than 20,000 animals a year, and maintaining Austin's no-kill status.

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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